The scales will measure her worth to her clan. Will she endure thirty days as a land-walker to gather information and knowledge to appease her clan and return a valued member? Will she wait three years, until she is twenty, and find a mer of her kind to accept her and marry her? Or will she suffer exile for the rest of her life?
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Because I am the bottom feeder, it is my job to survive the Reckoning and prove that I am worthy to stay with the clan. If they find out that he helped me, they’ll send him out on the Reckoning, too.
Suddenly I stop and yank my arm from his grasp. “You can’t do this. You can’t help me.”
He sneers. “A Mer with half a brain would say thank you.”
He snatches my wrist again and drags me along with him. I follow reluctantly.
“Where are we going?”
“Shut up and swim faster. We need to get salve on your wounds so they will clot. I’ve got some hidden this way.”
We swim in silence toward the shallows until we find another reef, round and in hues of purple and orange in the bright sunlight. A buzz on the current signals that the sharks are finished with the marlin and are following again, or perhaps it’s another set of sharks...there are only two.
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